ISLAMABAD – A Pakistani Taleban group Wednesday claimed responsibility for the suicide bombing of a Lahore police building that killed 30 people, a US specialist Islamist monitoring group said.
A group calling itself “Tehrik-i-Taliban Punjab” made the claim in a Turkish-language statement posted on Turkish jihadist websites through an organization called Elif Media.
The Islamist monitors SITE cited the group as saying the attack “targeted the ‘nest of evil’ in Lahore, and was a ‘humble gift’ to the mujahideen who suffer beneath the attacks of Pakistani forces in Swat.”
Some 30 people, including several policemen, were killed and over 250 injured when a suicide bomber crashed his explosive-laden small van into a police building housing emergency Rescue 15 in Lahore, Wednesday.
Before the blast, there was an exchange of fire between policemen and terrorists.
Police later claimed to have arrested two terrorists from near the place of the terrorist attack. The two-storey building, which was destroyed in the explosion was adjacent to the Capital Lahore City Police Chief’s Office in the Plaza Chowk.
The explosion was so severe that a nearby office of a premier intelligence agency and several other buildings were considerably damaged. Windowpanes of many premises were also shattered and a number of vehicles parked near the Plaza Chowk traffic signal were also damaged.
Emergency was immediately declared in all the Lahore hospitals where the injured persons were rushed.
President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani strongly condemned the blast.
Recent assaults in Lahore, Pakistan’s second-largest city sited near the Indian border, have heightened fears that militancy in nuclear-armed Pakistan is spreading well beyond the northwest region bordering Afghanistan. – With agencies